School Library Journal11/01/2013
Gr 2–4—Concise, well-organized content makes these slim volumes a lot more informative than a cursory glance suggests. Short chapters (one to two pages each) chronicle the causes, effects, events, and people that figured in the westward expansion. The writing is concise but packed with facts. For example, Gold Rush explains that, "Passengers traveled on dirty, crowded ships for six months or longer. Food often spoiled and water was not always safe to drink." The illustrations are a mix of photos and gorgeous reproductions of archival paintings and drawings, all of which complement the texts to a tee. The colorful, bordered captions add helpful information.